A new community and underwater world has opened it doors for us. Yesterday, Chris and I completed our Open Water Scuba Diving Course, becoming PADI Certified Divers. We are now fully able and entitled to dive any where in the world on our very own (granted we had the equipment) to the depth of 18 meters. With more than 130,000 PADI Professionals and around 5700 PADI Dive Shops and Resorts operating in more than 180 countries and territories.
Diving indeed is a rare experience, one that only 2% of the world have ever gotten to explore. We have learned over these past few days what a great community the dive population is. We have all traveled near and far across the world in search of adventure, adrenaline, and passions for the environment. No matter who you turn to or who your diving buddy may be in the future, you will undoubtedly having something in common with them.
Our diving adventures as you have read began in the pool at a maximum depth of 1.5 meters, we have now been to the ocean floor of 18 meters in dive spots around Koh Tao. Rumored to be some of the best diving (not to mention cheapest) in the world. We visited four dive sites on our 5 open water dives. Mango Bay, Japanese Garden, Green Rock, and Hin Wong Pinnacle. We were lucky to see some rare underwater sighting such as soft purple coral, a moray eel, huge barracuda fish (normally only come out at night). On our dives we did happen to come across about 7 titan trigger fish. This fish is rather large and known to be very territorial. Here in Thailand they are called the “rabid dogs” of the sea. They dig holes in the ocean floor and lay their nest snuggled and protected from the oceans currents. They then set up their territory which resembles an upside down triangle from the ocean floor to the ocean surface. Often times to many, people unknowingly pass through a trigger fish territory. They will find a rather large fish biting through their fins and unwilling to let go. Luckily we were able to see several but avoid this unfortunate fish defense.
Underwater can often times resemble what you see above water. We were able to explore a sunken Thaitanic (boat)nestled in to the ocean floor for the rest of eternity. We helped save a coral reef by turning over the mushroom corals that have been kicked over by other divers or incidentally been flipped over. In turn when flipped over they are unable to get sunlight and begin to die. I flipped about 5, Chris however flipped about 15, I believe I saw him smile very wide into his regulator (source of oxygen).
I have come away from this experience having completed something I never before even thought of as a possibility (at least for me in my life). It was extremely hard at times constantly leading you out of your comfort zones. Yet I was determined to experience something that meant so much to Chris. I was his “buddy” (in diving you must always dive with a buddy) for 5 dives and trusted him entirely with my safety and my life. Which means he did me as well. We rose from 66 ft yesterday at the ocean floor estatic with accomplishment. Myself for completing this course, Chris for beginning a life of diving — and I think being extremely pleased that I completed it along side him.